Sale: 374 / Modern Art, Dec. 04. 2010 in Munich Lot 14

 
Oskar Kokoschka - Blumenstillleben

14
Oskar Kokoschka
Blumenstillleben, 1967.
Watercolour
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 27,500
Sold:
€ 58,560 / $ 64.416

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Watercolor
Signed and dated upper right. On laid paper (with watermark "Whatman 1953"). 61,5 x 49,2 cm (24,2 x 19,3 in), size of sheet

The work will be included into the forthcoming third volume of the catalog raisonné, which is currently prepared by Alfred Weidinger and Alice Strobl.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Southern Germany.

Oskar Kokoschka, a goldsmith's son, grew up in Vienna. While attending the Kunstgewerbeschule there from 1905 until 1909, he was already working at the Wiener Werkstätte, founded by Josef Hoffmann in 1903. Kokoschka's illustrations and prints of that period reveal the influence of Viennese Jugendstil whereas, apart from van Gogh and Hodler, the Viennese Secession was important for his painting. From 1910 in Berlin, he worked on Herwarth Walden's magazine 'Der Sturm', contributing not only drawings but also publishing his writings, among them the play 'Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen' ['Murderers, Women's Hope']. A liaison with Alma Mahler lasted from 1911 until 1914. His early work, cycles of lithographs as well as visionary pictures and portraits, is steeped in psychical drama. Enlisting in the Austrian cavalry in 1914, he was severely wounded and discharged to Vienna in 1916. That year he met the actress Käthe Richter in Berlin and moved with her to Dresden. There Kokoschka was appointed professor at the Art Academy in 1919 but gave up the post in 1924. The years that followed saw him based in Paris and travelling constantly. He did not return to Vienna until 1931. Appalled by the radical right-wing tendencies he encountered there, Kokoschka moved to Prague in 1934. In 1937 the National Socialists confiscated 417 of his works. A year later the artist emigrated to London, where allegorical subject matter with political thematic overtones began to inform his pictures. He spent time in Switzerland in 1947 on the occasion of the large-scale retrospectives of his work mounted by the Basel Kunsthalle and the Zurich Kunsthaus. There followed trips to Salzburg, Hamburg and the United States, where he taught at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1952. Kokoschka moved to Lake Geneva in 1953 and that same year began teaching a course he called the 'School of Seeing' under the auspices of the International Summer Academy of Fine Art at Salzburg. The stage designs he created at Wilhelm Furtwängler's suggestion for the 1955/56 Festival production of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' are a highlight of his Salzburg work. During the years that followed he travelled widely in Europe, Africa and the United States. He received numerous honors during those years and exhibitions and retrospectives of his work were mounted by, among others, the Tate Gallery in London (1962) and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1968).

Oskar Kokoschka‘s later flower watercolors live on the immediacy of the spontaneous watercolor painting. Without a sign of a preliminary drawing, the artist delivered a masterpiece and captured the blossoms in a natural freshness and purity that is unmatched. Our work is a prime example of the creative powers of the artist in his eighties, a great document of the outstanding abilities Kokoschka had at an old age.

In the1960s he again turned to making prints, producing more than two hundred lithographs and etchings, most of them in cycles. In February 1970 the artist began to write his autobiography, 'Mein Leben', which was published a year later and appeared in 1974 in English as 'My Life'. Kokoschka died in Montreux on 22 February 1980. [KD].

14
Oskar Kokoschka
Blumenstillleben, 1967.
Watercolour
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 27,500
Sold:
€ 58,560 / $ 64.416

(incl. 22% surcharge)